Rolling a smoke, Tim takes a few deep drags, pondering how this is all going to go. Inspecting the log, he nods to himself. It is time. Taking off his belt, he reaches for the log that is now glowing in coals at one end. As darkness falls, he straps it tightly around the gum tree trunk at shoulder height. Tim sheds his shirt and throws it onto the thermal blanket in front of the tree then backs up to the glowing coals of the log to try to seal the wound. Letting out a deep-throated yell as the smell of searing flesh enters his nostrils, he passes out from the pain and collapses onto the thermal blanket, with the ring of fire giving him protection from predators while in such a vulnerable state.
Hours later, with the moon rise, three sets of glowing yellow eyes intently watch the circle of fire from a high creek bank. Cool air has started to descend over the high gorge country, with a mist sitting slightly above the creek as the night grows older. Stirring in the early hours, Tim finds himself shivering from the moisture of the heavy dew falling on the upper end of his naked body. Stiff and sore, he reaches for his shirt and struggles to put it on. The purpose of inflicting such agony on himself by sealing the wound at that time of the day was to keep the flies from laying larvae, which would evolve into maggots, in the wound while he was passed out. Also it was cooler and easier to protect himself.
Glancing up at the moon, he guesses it is close to 3am. Falling back onto his knees, he leans over to scoop some sand under the end of his thermal blanket, building a makeshift pillow. settling in, he flicks half the thermal blanket over himself, keeping the rest under his torso to prevent chill as the river sand grew colder, then falls to sleep near on instantly.
Waking as the sunlight drills directly onto his face, he slowly starts stretching the stiff muscles. Lifting up his head, he rubs both gritty eyes to try to get the tear ducts flowing. Eventually able to get both knees under him, he stands and steps over the now dying coals towards the creek. Placing one knee on the ground, he scoops a couple of handfuls of what is now cold water over his face, waking up immediately. An array of birds hit the water, their bills open to drink as they go about their daily business. Walking around the fire circle on the way back to retrieve his belongings, he notices numerous dog prints in the sand surrounding the outside perimeter. Concluding they had originated after the heavy dew had fallen, he studies the tracks in more detail and guesses there were 3 or 4 dogs, going by the different size prints in the sand. Shaking his head, “For fuck’s sake, give a man a break,” he knows they will be back, having picked up that he was wounded and weak.
Title: Blood Gold Revenge
Author: Dave Wright
“A lot of things have happened up this way over the years. There’s got to be at least six missing person’s that I have heard of.”
There is gold in the vastness of the Australian outback, and a special breed of men who prospect for it. Tim is bush-hardened and skilled; the love for this harsh country comes naturally. His prospecting partner John shares Tim’s love of the freedom, but times have changed. A new breed of prospector has reason to appreciate the desolate isolation of the bush — but it is not gold he is after. The country’s biggest meth lab is doing well, and its owner, Mr C. does not appreciate passers-by.
The cattle on the Hatchet River Station homestead have not been mustered for the past ten years. The brutish Maxine, her husband Scrubber, and her brother Price have agreed to run interference for Mr C.; after all, they have always enjoyed killing the odd lone prospector when they had the chance.
But they make a mistake, and the solitary prospector they pick off one day was not alone as they thought. There are witnesses to the crime this time, and they want justice for their friend. Tired of the Hatchet River trio’s murdering ways, intimidation and threats, and suspecting local police corruption, Tim, Jack and Sam call in the state authorities.
A massive search begins; the hunters become the hunted, the innocent pay for the crimes of the guilty and the good guys don’t always win. But the net does tighten. The well-camouflaged drug lab explode in flames and the blood of many, good and bad, soak into the parched land in a spectacular finale. It is not the authorities who bring justice to Hatchet River, however, but a band of indomitable bushies, who have never learned to say die.
The author resides in sunny North Queensland, mostly raised in the outback with schooling done via correspondence. Finishing off grade 10 at age 15 in Redcliffe before starting work in the remote gold mines of Northern Australia 34 years ago. To this day the author has barely pick up a novel or put pen to paper before starting on this book. In real life when time permits he still rides the hills prospecting for gold with his mates and is currently part way through writing the sequel.